MANY of Chester's historic buildings are to open their doors to the public this month as the region celebrates 12,000 years of heritage.

Heritage Open Days weekend sees historic properties, walks and talks across the borough between September 7 and 10.  

The 23rd year for Heritage Open Days includes buildings and attractions opening their doors free of charge across the country. The event in West Cheshire organised by Chester Civic Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council will be the biggest yet. 

More than 60 buildings will be open across West Cheshire in Chester, Parkgate, Ellesmere Port, Frodsham, Malpas, Winsford and Northwich. There will also be more than 20 bookable tours.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said: “Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture with over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers.

“I’d like to thank all of the businesses and property owners welcoming visitors to their historic properties.

“Our buildings are open free of charge but please check the brochure for opening times, the guided tours are always very popular with limited numbers and advanced booking is required for most of them.”

The Chester Rows will take centre stage for a special artistic presentation. All Things Considered Theatre and artists Heinrich & Palmer will create two new artistic activities using public spaces along the Rows. ‘Meet me on the Rows’ is a new immersive theatre experience taking a small audience (maximum six people) on a journey up and around the Rows bringing to life stories they have researched.

The free event can be booked through

There will be guided tours of Chester Rail Station, Chester Racecourse, Bridgegate House, Poulton research project (the site has produced 12,000 years of finds from a large Iron Age, Roman and Medieval settlements), Chester Blue Coat CE Primary School, the Albion Inn and Western Command (the University’s Churchill Building) among others.

Tours of Western Command must be booked in advance and will be available on Thursday only, between 2pm and 3pm, and 3.15pm and 4.15pm.  

The former Queen’s Cinema, the National Waterways Museum and Action Transport Theatre (Whitby Hall) are included in Ellesmere Port.

There will be guided walks in Parkgate on both Saturday and Sunday. Frodsham includes The Ring O’Bells, Bear’s Paw Hotel and Old Hall Hotel.

The Heritage Open Days brochure is available from libraries, Grosvenor Museum, Chester History and Heritage, Weaver Hall and The Lion Salt Works plus other public buildings. The brochure can also be downloaded from the Chester History and Heritage website: http://historyandheritage.